Abstract for TR-330

Toxicology and Carcinogenesis Studies of 4-Hexylresorcinol in F344/N Rats and B6C3F1 Mice (Gavage Studies)

CASRN: 136-77-6
Chemical Formula: C12H18O2
Molecular Weight: 194.3
Synonyms/Common Names: 4-Hexyl-1,3-benzenediol; 4-hexyl-1,3-dihydroxybenzene
Report Date: May 1988

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4-Hexylresorcinol, which is used as an anthelmintic and antiseptic, was nominated by the National Cancer Institute for study. Toxicology and carcinogenesis studies were conducted by administering 4-hexylresorcinol (greater than 99% pure) in corn oil by gavage to groups of F344/N rats and B6C3F1 mice of each sex for 16 days, 13 weeks, or 2 years.

Sixteen-day and thirteen-week studies

In the 16-day studies, groups of five rats and five mice of each sex were administered 0, 31.3, 62.5, 125, 250, or 500 mg/kg 4-hexylresorcinol. Survival was not affected. Decreased body weights were seen in male rats that received 250 or 500 mg/kg 4-hexylresorcinol. No other effects were observed. In the 13-week studies, groups of 10 rats and 10 mice of each sex were administered 0, 62.5, 125, 250, 500, or 1,000 mg/kg of the chemical, 5 days per week. All rats and male mice and 9/10 female mice that received 1,000 mg/kg died before the end of the studies. Final mean body weights of male rats that received 250 or 500 mg/kg were 22% or 38% lower than that of the vehicle controls; final mean body weights of female rats that received 250 or 500 mg/kg were 16% or 9% lower. No compound-related gross or microscopic pathologic effects were observed in rats. No body weight effects were observed for mice. Mild to moderate nephropathy was dose related in male and female mice.

Based on these results, 2-year toxicology and carcinogenesis studies of 4-hexylresorcinol were conducted by administering 0, 62.5, or 125 mg/kg to groups of 50 F344/N rats and 50 B6C3F1 mice of each sex, 5 days per week.

Two-year studies

Body weight and survival

Mean body weights of high dose male rats were 7%-11% lower than those of the vehicle controls throughout the study. Mean body weights of low dose male and dosed female rats were similar to those of the vehicle controls. The body weights of dosed male and dosed female mice were comparable to those of vehicle controls except during the last 16 weeks of the studies, when body weights were 6%-16% lower in the dosed groups. No significant differences in survival were observed between any groups of rats or mice of either sex (male rats: vehicle control, 30/50; low dose, 29/50; high dose, 33/50; female rats: 28/50; 32/50; 30/50; male mice: 36/50; 26/50; 30/50; female mice: 35/50; 32/50; 35/50).

Nonneoplastic and neoplastic lesions

Two astrocytomas and an oligodendroglioma were observed in high dose male rats, a glioma was observed in one low dose male rat, and an oligodendroglioma was observed in one vehicle control male rat. These neoplasms were not considered to be related to 4-hexylresorcinol administration.

Focal medullary hyperplasia of the adrenal gland was observed at increased incidences in dosed male mice (5/50; 16/50; 10/49). Pheochromocytomas in male mice occurred with a marginal upward trend (1/50; 2/50; 5/49). Historically, these neoplasms are observed in about 1% of corn oil vehicle control B6C3F1 male mice. The incidences of neoplasms of the harderian gland in male mice were slightly increased over those in the vehicle controls (adenomas or carcinomas, combined: 0/50; 4/50; 3/50).

Decreases were observed in the incidences of mononuclear cell leukemia in dosed male (12/49; 7/50; 1/50) and female (16/50; 3/50; 2/50) rats, hepatocellular adenomas or carcinomas (combined) in dosed male mice (21/50; 9/50; 9/50), and circulatory system tumors in male (10/50; 4/50; 2/50) and female (6/50; 2/49; 0/50) mice. These decreased incidences of tumors in rats and mice are considered to be possibly related to 4-hexylresorcinol administration.

The incidences and severity of nephropathy (male: 39/50; 43/50; 47/50; female: 7/50; 40/49; 47/50) and incidences of osteosclerosis (male: 5/50; 5/50; 15/50; female: 21/50; 25/49; 40/50) were increased in both dosed male and female mice and are considered to be related to chemical exposure.

Genetic toxicology

4-Hexylresorcinol was not mutagenic for Salmonella typhimurium strains TA98, TA100, TA1535, or TA1537 with or without S9 metabolic activation. 4-Hexylresorcinol induced forward mutations at the TK locus in mouse L5178Y cells in the presence of S9; no response was observed in the absence of metabolic activation. In cytogenetic assays with cultured Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cells, 4-hexylresorcinol caused an increase in the frequency of sister chromatid exchanges (SCEs) in the absence of metabolic activation; no induction of SCEs was observed in the presence of S9. Chromosomal aberrations were not induced in CHO cells with or without metabolic activation.

Data audit

The data, documents, and pathology materials from the 2-year studies of 4-hexylresorcinol were audited at the NTP Archives. The audit findings show that the conduct of the studies is documented appropriately and support the data and results given in this Technical Report.


Under the conditions of these 2-year gavage studies, there was no evidence of carcinogenic activity of 4-hexylresorcinol for male or female F344/N rats given doses of 62.5 or 125 mg/kg. There was equivocal evidence of carcinogenic activity of 4-hexylresorcinol for male B6C3F1 mice, as shown by marginally increased incidences of pheochromocytomas (and hyperplasia) of the adrenal medulla and of harderian gland neoplasms. There was no evidence of carcinogenic activity for female B6C3F1 mice given doses of 62.5 or 125 mg/kg 4-hexylresorcinol. Decreased incidences of three tumors types were considered related to 4-hexylresorcinol administration: mononuclear cell leukemia in male and female rats, hepatocellular neoplasms in male mice, and circulatory system tumors in male and female mice.